Nothing complex this week. Literally. The meditation for the week is take 1-5 minutes every day and sit down and not think of anything or at least focus on one simple image in your mind. Nothing else. Nothing. Slow breathing, slow heartbeat, no movement. If you can get to 20 minutes of nothingness (without falling asleep) great. But 1-5 minutes minimum. Do this at least once a day.
We think too much sometimes. To think we occasionally need to consciously clear everything out and reboot the system. We can’t think straight unless we clear the system, we cannot meditate and reach depth until we first are calm.
Okay, so Ayn Rand was not Shakespeare. And her philosophy has some major flaws (about as many as her style). However, for all her issues, Atlas Shrugged will always hold a special place in my heart. While I can critique the characterization of John Galt, Dagny Taggart or Hank Rearden for being too cold or purely logical at times, their core of their philosophy does hold many truths.
Which is why I’m excited about this.
I love that it comes out on April 15th. And I would like to thank Barrack Obama. If it weren’t for your fascist/socialist policies which are straight out of Atlas this movie would probably never have gotten out of it’s 50 year development hell.
However I’m just worried that this won’t catch on enough for them to make parts 2 and 3.
So it’s been a while since I recommended a book, sorry about that. But right now I’m going to recommend a book that I recently discovered New Threats to Freedom edited by Adam Bellow.
This selection of original essays offers something to entertain, enlighten and offend both those on the left and the right. It is a discussion of the various forms that threats to our beloved liberties are coming from. And believe it or not it’s not just liberals in the government who we should be trying to oppose. Society, the overly religious, the ivory tower, and our own indifference are forces that have some of most beloved (although sometimes overlooked) liberties at stake. Probably our own indifference being the biggest threat. But Obama does rank a close second it seems.
None of the essays sound like they come from a crazed person wearing tin foil and talking about the CIA—quite the opposite in fact, as all of the writers are not only calm and logical in their cases, but know their way around the written word as well. (This collection for instance reminded me why I can’t help but love Christopher Hitchens, even in spite of his rabid atheism).
Economic rights are certainly covered, so conservatives should be happy, but our social rights, as liberals are keen to point out, are also at threat. Like the right to make mistakes or the right to eat what isn’t healthy for us.
Of particular poignancy, even though this book was written about a year ago, is the essay “The Abandonment of Democracy Promotion” by Tara McKelvey on how we have stopped trying to export democracy represents a threat to our freedom. The key example used in the essay is that we have ceased our spending for democracy promotion in Egypt. … I wonder, do you think that might come back to bite us in the ass?
I won’t go over every single essay, the writers in this collection do much better than I could, but I would say that I found almost every selection insightful and enlightening. However of my personal favorites I would suggest you read are:
“The Decline of the American Press Freedom” by Anne Applebaum
“Multiculturalism and the Threat of Conformity” by Christopher Hitchens
“The Fairness Doctrine” by David Mamet
“The War on Negative Liberty” by Katherine Mangu-Ward
“The Tyranny of the News Cycle” by Robert D. Kaplan